Oranges probably originated in in Southeast Asia and spread westward through trade with China.
Oranges are high in vitamin C and are thought to have many health benefits.
Look for smooth skinned, firm fruits. Avoid blotchy, mushy, or oversoft fruits.
How much does an orange weigh?
|Oranges, Common Commercial|
|Oranges, California, Valencia|
|Average Fruit||2-5/8″ Dia||121g||4.3oz|
|Average Fruit||2-5/8″ Dia||141g||5oz|
|Average Fruit||2-7/8″ Dia||140g||4.9oz|
|Tangerines (Mandarin Orange)|
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (2%) 1.02
Calories From Protein (7%) 3.19
Calories From Carbohydrates (91%) 42.79
Calories From Alcohol (0%) 0
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.12 <1%
Saturated Fat 0.02 <1%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.02
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.03
Trans Fatty Acids 0
Cholesterol 0 0%
Sodium 0 0%
Potassium 181 5%
Total Carbohydrates 11.75 4%
Fiber 2.4 10%
Sugar Alcohols 0
Net Carbohydrates 9.35
Protein 0.94 2%
Vitamin A 225 5%
Vitamin C 53.2 89%
Calcium 40 4%
Iron 0.1 <1%
Vitamin E 0.18 2%
Vitamin D 0
Thiamin 0.09 6%
Riboflavin 0.04 2%
Niacin 0.28 1%
Vitamin B6 0.06 3%
Folate 30 8%
Vitamin B12 0 0%
Pantothenic Acid 0.25 3%
Vitamin K 0 0%
Phosphorus 14 1%
Magnesium 10 3%
Zinc 0.07 <1%
Copper 0.05 2%
Manganese 0.03 1%
Selenium 0.5 <1%
Water 86.75 0%
What You Need to Know about the Orange
The orange (Citrus sinensis) is one of the most popular fruits in the world harvested for its nutritious and refreshing taste. Who wouldn’t love a healthy cup of orange juice after all? But do you know that the orange we know of today is selectively bred from two different fruits to achieve its famous taste?
Read this article to learn about the history of the orange and its popular uses today.
The orange originated in southeast China where it was cultivated since 2,500 BCE. It first appeared as a wild orange (or bitter orange as scientists call them) and orange breeders may have had interest in the fruit because of its attractive color and started breeding the sweet orange. Modern genetic tests, however, reveal that the orange we know today was not grown in the wild, but was bred from mandarin (Citrus reticulate) and pomelo (Citrus maxima).
From China, the orange reached other parts of the world such as India, east coast of Africa, and eastern Mediterranean region where its spread throughout many countries was made even faster with Roman conquests, development of Arab trade routes, and Islamic expansions.
The explorations of Christopher Columbus in the 1500s introduced the orange to the Americas. Other Spanish explorations further distributed the orange from Europe to majority of the American continent.
Where the Orange is Grown
The orange grows best in regions with sub-tropical and tropical climates. It favors dry conditions with low rainfalls and requires considerable amount of sunlight and water. Furthermore, it can be grown in a wide variety of soil types, including the alluvial, sandy soil, and red sand soil.
Today, the orange is widely grown in subtropical and tropical America, northern and eastern Mediterranean, Australia and South Africa. In 2019, the top orange producing countries in the world are Brazil, China, India, the United States, and Mexico. Brazil produces about 22% of the world’s orange output.
As a citrus fruit, the orange is known to be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folate, thiamine, citric acid, and citrates.
A medium-sized orange contains:
- Calories: 60 calories
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 12 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 14 micrograms
- Vitamin C: 70 milligrams
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
- Potassium: 237 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 15.4 grams
Oranges are generally classified into two: sweet orange and bitter orange. You can read below the most common, specific varieties of this fruit.
- Navel Orange. The Navel orange is the most common type of orange recognizable for its mark on the bottom that looks like a belly button. It is a great addition to salads because of its flavor and lack of seeds. Its zest can also be used making muffins and boosting a dish’s flavor.
- Mandarin Orange. Mandarin is actually a fruit itself and the orange is just bred from it. Nevertheless, the Mandarin orange is small but sweet, making it perfect as a salad topper and snack.
- Cara Cara Orange. Originating from Venezuela, the Cara Cara orange is popular for its low acidity and extra sweetness that resemble berries and cherries. It is a primary choice for snacks and juice.
- Blood Orange. Called Blood orange because of its deep red color, this variety is very juicy and has a unique sweet and tart flavor. Aside from being eaten raw, it can also be a great marmalade base.
- Valencia Orange. The Valencia orange is known for its extra juiciness, making it a great choice for your favorite orange juice. This variety, however, contains lots of seeds
- Seville Orange. This variety came from the Mediterranean. It has a sour flavor but can be used for marmalades and marinades.
- Jaffa Orange. Also known as the Shamouti orange, this variety has a tough skin and contains few seeds. Its taste is often described as “excellently sweet and fine”
- Bergamot Orange. Cultivated in Italy, the peel of the Bergamot orange is used to create perfumes and to flavor Earl Grey tea.
The orange is sought for its sweet flavor, but aside from this, it is also famous for other uses such as the ones listed below.
- Orange Juice. The juice of the orange fruit is squeezed out using a juicer tool and is served as refreshing beverage.
- Orange Oil. The peel of the orange fruit is pressed to extract a sweet orange oil which can be used for flavoring food or for marking perfumes. This oil may also be used as a cleaning agent.
- Marmalade. All parts of the orange fruit – particularly the Seville variety – can be used to create a marmalade.
- Slug repellent. Orange peels are used by gardeners to drive away slugs from their plants.